When Hailey Bieber inserted “glazed” into the beauty world lexicon during the launch of her skincare line, the quest for dewy glowing skin kicked into overdrive. But, no matter how you slice it, hydration is the key metric to achieve that sought-after healthy skin look. So, how do you achieve said hydration goals? To quote Eva Longoria in a recent L’Oréal commercial, “Hy- a- lur- on- ic acid!” It’s the beauty ingredient du jour, promoted as a star addition to everything from anti-aging haircare (like Kerastase), body lotion (the Belif lotion feels dreamy) and even oral supplements like Youth Theory. Though available completely on its own to layer on your skincare steps, hyaluronic acid is often mixed with other ingredients like collagen, squalane and vitamin E to pump up efficacy and delivery. What is hyaluronic acid exactly? HA is known to hold up to 1,000 times its weight in moisture and is naturally found in the body. In terms of cosmetics it binds to water, plumping and moisture locking the skin, leaving the appearance of dewier. hydrated, glowing skin. We test-drove some products to get that moisture locked glazed donut goodness, and here are our findings. —Lauren Walker-Lee
the dynamic duo: Biossance Squalane + Copper Peptide Rapid Plumping Serum, $88, and Squaline + Hyaluronic Acid Toning Mist, $42. After what seemed liked a large instagram influencer push and a well-timed presence at Miami Art Basel, Biossance is totally worth the hype. Start of with the toning mist to help deliver the divine plumping serum, which has almost an instant affect. At first you feel your eyes may be playing tricks on you, but the visible improvement is pretty legit.
for the purist: The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid, $15. Known to offer lab-grade ingredients at extremely accessibly prices, The Ordinary’s ethos is to provide clinical formulations with integrity. Here you get quality hyaluronic acid for under $15—pure and simple to fold into your existing skincare routine and stack up those serums.
the alternative MVP: Drunk Elephant C-Firma Fresh Day Serum, $78. Among other star ingredients like l-ascorbic acid, ferulic acid and vitamin E, the Drunk Elephant C-Firma Fresh Day Serum contains sodium hyaluronate cross-polymer—an ingredient that boasts a smaller molecular weight than hyaluronic acid and is able to deeply penetrate the skin, delivering excellent hydration and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while promoting firmness.
the drugstore star: Burt’s Bees Truly Glowing Day Lotion $23. This wallet-friendly bottle quenches dry skin by pairing hyaluronic acid with the Burt’s Bees Hydrate and Glow complex. An intentional blend of proteins, humectants and oils. Each ingredient helps to boost the skins hydration levels both above and below the surface.
power vegan combo: Pacifica Vegan Collagen Complex Serum $32. The glazed look requires youthful hydrated skin, and improved dullness to get that healthy glow. Pacifica blends a super-power combo of hyaluronic acid and vegan collagen, using real collagen proteins produced through a plant-based fermentation process.
top shelf: Skinsceuticals H.A Intensifier, $106. A multi-functional corrective serum to help amplify skins hyaluronic acid levels. The H.A. Intensifier is a multi-beneficial corrective serum proven to amplify skin’s hyaluronic acid levels. This unique formulation contains a high concentration of pure hyaluronic acid, proxylane and botanical extracts of liquorice root and purple rice to support skin’s hyaluronic acid levels and deliver surface hydration.
the triple threat: Belif Aqua Bomb Brightening Cream, $56. A lightweight moisturizer that packs a good punch with hyaluronic acid in four types, for glowing and visibly bright skin. This next-gen moisturizer has the same benefits of the OG Aqua Bomb, but with added vitamins C and E to up the glow factor. No synthetic dyes, preservatives or fragrances and free of other nasties like paragons and phthalates, to boot.